A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme

Project status:   Planned
Region:  East

Start date:   2016
End date:  estimated open to traffic date - 2020

Type:   Major Scheme
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Major Scheme

Part of our programme of improvements (value >10m)

Cost:  £1.5 billion


Scheme update

On 27 January 2015, the Planning Inspectorate accepted the Development Consent Order (DCO) application for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme for examination.

The scheme, valued at approximately £1.5billion, is the largest road improvement project in England and will reduce congestion and delays on the 25 mile stretch of trunk road between Cambridge and Huntingdon. Proposals include a major new bypass, widening a section of the A1 and demolition of a viaduct at Huntingdon, which will support improvements in the town.

Between April - June 2014 the Highways Agency formally consulted members of the public and our partners on the plans for the A14 scheme.

  • We conducted over 25 public exhibitions, and;
  • received over 1400 written responses

85 per cent of responses agreed the A14 needs improving, with over half (51 per cent) agreeing with our proposed solution. The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme DCO application can be viewed on the National Infrastructure Planning website.

You can view the notice of acceptance here, along with a high level map of the route. A more detailed map of the route can be viewed here.

Giving your views to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate

If you’re interested in having your say on the A14 scheme, you need to tell the Planning Inspectorate by 11.59pm on Thursday 12 March and register as an interested party. To do this, register on the Planning Inspectorate website. Registration will be open from Wednesday 4 February at the latest.

Once registered, the Planning Inspectorate will keep you informed of all opportunities to have your say during the assessment process.

You need to register before 11.59pm on Thursday 12 March if you want to officially submit your views. You will receive updates on the progress of the application and be invited to all the relevant public hearings and meetings.

The approximate timings of the DCO process can be viewed here.

What is happening?

We plan to improve the A14 trunk road between Cambridge and Huntingdon. Our proposals include:

  • widening a section of the A1 trunk road between Brampton and Alconbury
  • removing the road viaduct over the railway at Huntingdon
  • a new bypass to the south of Huntingdon
  • detrunking the A14 between Ellington and Swavesey
  • widening the carriageway on the A14 between Swavesey and Girton
  • a new local access road
  • improvements to the Cambridge Northern Bypass
  • junction improvements

We held a public consultation on route options in September and October 2013 to see what people thought of our proposals for what was at the time a tolled scheme. In December 2013, following the feedback received from the public consultation, government decided that the scheme would not be tolled. Since then, we have been reviewing assumptions and developing more detailed proposals.

In order to seek feedback on our revised proposals, we held a formal pre-application consultation, between 7 April and 15 June 2014, and your further views and comments were sought.

When and where is this happening?

If the development consent for the proposed scheme is granted, construction of the main works would be expected to commence in 2016 and continue for a period of approximately 3.5 years to 2020. Additional works would be carried out to downgrade the existing A14 trunk road to the south west of Huntingdon once the main construction was complete and these would be expected to take a further 12 to 18 months.

The proposed scheme starts at Ellington, on the existing A14 to the west of Huntingdon, and extends to the Milton junction on the Cambridge Northern Bypass. It also includes widening of the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury.

Why is this happening and what will it cost?

The existing A14 trunk road between Cambridge and Huntingdon is well known for congestion and delays

  • Almost 85,000 vehicles use this stretch of the A14 every day; significantly more than the level originally designed for
  • Around quarter of this is heavy goods vehicles - well above the national average for this type of road

The government has made a provision for £1.5 billion of capital investment for this scheme. The proposals will be funded through a combination of contributions from Central Government, local authority and Local Enterprise Partnership.

How will the scheme be carried out?

We are experienced in the delivery of major construction projects and will develop a delivery strategy for the proposed scheme that minimises unnecessary disruption, inconvenience and adverse impacts. We will work closely with our stakeholders, including local authorities and others, to produce a Code of Construction Practice which will identify the specific issues that are likely to occur and the measures that will be used to address them.

What are the benefits?

The proposals for the A14 will:

  • relieve traffic congestion
  • unlock local economic growth
  • enhance national economic growth
  • connect communities
  • improve the environment
  • improve safety and reduce driver stress
  • improve the environment in Huntingdon
  • create a positive legacy for the region

How do I find out more information ?

More information will be posted on this project page as it becomes available. You can subscribe to be alerted when updates are made.

If you have any queries about this project you should contact the Highways Agency Information Line by emailing ha_​info@​highways.​gsi.​gov.​uk or calling 0300 123 5000.

Should you have concerns about the impact on your property or land, details about the claims process are available.

The Proposed Scheme

The proposed scheme consists of:

  • Widening the A1 between Brampton and Alconbury over a length of approximately 3½ miles, from the existing two lane dual carriageway to a three lane dual carriageway. This would be achieved between Brampton and Brampton Hut by constructing a new road to the west of the existing A1, with the existing A1 road becoming part of the new A14 Huntingdon Southern Bypass
  • A new Huntingdon Southern Bypass of approximately 12½ miles in length, which would provide a two lane dual carriageway between Ellington and the A1 at Brampton and a three lane dual carriageway between Brampton and Swavesey; this would remove a large proportion of traffic from the section of the existing A14 between Huntingdon and Swavesey as well as Brampton Hut and Spittals interchange. The new bypass would include a raised viaduct section of road running across the river Great Ouse and a bridge over the East Coast Mainline railway. it would include junctions with the A1 at Brampton and with the A1198 at Godmanchester
  • Downgrading the existing A14 trunk road (de-trunking to county road status) over approximately 12 miles between Ellington and Swavesey, as well as between Alconbury and Spittals interchange
  • Huntingdon Town Centre improvements; to include the demolition of the A14 rail viaduct over the East Coast Mainline railway and Brampton Road in Huntingdon. A through route would be maintained broadly along the line of the existing A14 through Huntingdon, making use of the Brampton Road bridge to cross the railway line and by constructing a new link road from Brampton Road to connect with the A14 to the west
  • Widening of the existing A14 over approximately 5½ miles to provide three lanes in each direction between Swavesey and Bar Hill and to four lanes in each direction between Bar Hill and Girton
  • Widening of a 1½ mile section of the Cambridge Northern Bypass between Histon and Milton
  • Improvement of existing A14 junctions at Swavesey, Bar Hill and Girton; to improve the capacity of the road, ensures compatibility with adjacent proposed developments such as Northstowe, and connections for non-motorised users
  • A new local access road, approximately five miles in length, to be constructed as a dual carriageway between Fen Drayton and Swavesey and as a single carriageway between Swavesey and Girton. The road would provide a route for local traffic between Cambridge and Huntingdon as well as providing access to properties and businesses along the corridor

Scheme drawings for both the full-length and individual sections of the scheme are available on GOV​.UK.

Further assessment since decision not to toll

As a result of the decision by government in December 2013 not to toll the A14, we decided to undertake a re-evaluation of the proposed scheme without tolling and to compare its performance with that of other feasible non-tolled scheme options. We used, as a basis for this assessment, the outcome of the earlier A14 Study work (undertaken in 2011 and 2012) which eliminated all but two options from further analysis on the basis that the eliminated options either failed to meet the strategic objectives of the proposed scheme or did not offer good value for money. These two options were the proposed scheme (ie Option 7) and Option 5.

Option 5 – offered a comparable level of performance with that of the proposed scheme and slightly better value for money, although both schemes can be built within the £1.5bn budget set by government. Option 5 differed from the proposed scheme in that it provided a lower standard of bypass around Huntingdon (with two lanes in each direction rather than three) and that it retained the existing A14 route to the south-west of Huntingdon in order to provide a shorter route for vehicles travelling between the north and the east. This option also retained the existing road viaduct over the East Coast Mainline railway close to Huntingdon railway station but had no connection between the new Huntingdon Southern Bypass and the A1 trunk road.

The assessment carried out by the Highways Agency included further analysis to examine the factors contributing to the net present values (NPV) of the two schemes (option 5 and the proposed scheme): journey-time savings and reliability factors, noise and air quality benefits, and the impacts of not tolling on both schemes. Net present value (NPV) is a measure commonly used by government to compare scheme options; it is calculated as the difference between the value of all the benefits arising from the scheme and the total costs of delivering it.

Untolled, the proposed scheme it was shown to address the problems of traffic congestion extremely effectively on this section of the A14, offering adequate capacity and a high level of resilience well past the design year of 2035. The proposed scheme satisfies the government’s strategic objectives for the scheme, significantly improving the east-west transport corridor and links between East Anglia and the North. The NPV of the proposed scheme improves by over two-thirds to £1.32bn compared with the equivalent tolled solution and it has a benefit-to-cost ratio (BCR) of 2.3 which represents high value for money. This will increase if future phases of house-building to the west of Cambridge should gain planning approval.

The alternative scheme – Option 5; offers a higher net present value of £1.6bn and a BCR of 2.9 but offers only short term relief of congestion and would require a further improvement scheme to provide additional capacity within 10 to 15 years. This would be likely to include additional lanes on the Huntingdon Southern Bypass, a junction between the bypass and the A1, and speed restrictions on the A14 through Huntingdon. The likely cost of the future upgrade would be at least £200million at today’s prices. Local authorities in Huntingdon and Cambridgeshire have stated that they would not support any scheme which retained the A14 viaduct over the East Coast Mainline railway in Huntingdon as it would be a constraint to plans for local regeneration and economic development and is in conflict with their local plans. As a result Option 5 satisfies the government’s objectives for this scheme less well than the proposed scheme does.

Proposed Route

A14 Proposed Route

Option 5

option 5

Previous informal consultation

The Highways Agency concluded a period of informal consultation on 13 October 2013. You can still read through the full proposals, prospectus (technical review of options) and history of the route, along with the final consultation report. While the consultation has closed, if you have any questions please feel free to contact us via A1​4​CambridgeHuntingdon@​highways.​gsi.​gov.​uk.

Government cancels Ellington Fen Ditton Scheme2010
Department for Transport commissions detailed study of options for A14 between Ellington (near Huntingdon) and the Cambridge Northern Bypass2011/12
Government announces A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme will enter the Road Programme as a tolled schemeJuly 2012
Government announces a fast track delivery programme for this schemeJune 2013
Scheme Options ConsultationSeptember 2013
Government decision to remove tolling from the proposal6 December 2013
Pre-Application Consultation7 April - 15 June 2014
Development Consent Order ApplicationWinter 2014
Development Consent Order ExaminationSpring/Summer 2015
Secretary of State DecisionLate 2015/Early 2016
Start of WorksLate 2016
Open to Traffic2020


A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme - Public Statutory Consultation 7 April to 15 June 2014
The following consultation documents are available on the consultation web page on GOV.UK:
- Scheme brochure
- Exhibition panels
- Preliminary Environmental Information
- Preliminary Traffic Information
- Scheme Drawings
A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme - Public consultation on route options September / October 2013
The following consultation documents are available on the consultation web page on GOV.UK:
  • Public consultation report - executive summary
  • Public consultation report
  • Technical review of options
  • Public consultation


Section 48 (Planning Act) notice - April / June 2014 Public Consultation
Section 48 (Planning Act) notice - April / June 2014 Public Consultation
Public Consultation Flyer - April / June 2014 Public Consultation
Public Consultation Flyer - April / June 2014 Public Consultation


A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme - Scheme Plan - September / October 2013
Scheme plan for the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme - September / October 2013 public consultation


Safeguarding directions have been issued to the relevant local planning authorities; this protects the land required for the proposed scheme from potentially conflicting development. The safeguarding directions can be viewed on the 'Safeguarding Directions' tab above.

If you think your property is subject to compulsory purchase or may be affected by blight, the following documentation will be of help:

Our road proposals and your property - This booklet explains the procedures the Highways Agency follows to deliver major new road schemes. It outlines how you can make representations about the road proposals if they affect your property.

Blight and your property - This booklet provides information about blight caused by major new road schemes and what you can do if your property is blighted.

Compulsory purchase and your property - This booklet explains the different types of compensation available when your property is compulsory purchased as the result of a new road. It also provides information about how the Highways Agency will deal with your claim for compensation.


Safeguarding directions issued to local planning authorities:


Alconbury page 1

Alconbury page 2


Brampton page 1

Brampton and Buckden page 2

Offord Cluny and Offord Road




Fenstanton and Drayton


Bar Hill and Lolworth


Girton Histon and Cambridge

Cambridge and Milton


Huntingdon and Godmanchester


Safeguarding Directions

Safeguarding Directions - Guidance Notes for Local Authorities